Holiday lights craft

Last week with my Intellectual Disabilities classrooms (where I co-treat with OT) we made thumb print holiday lights.  I’m sure you’ve seen the idea on Pinterest.  Here’s the pin I went off of.

We used one large piece of white construction paper to make a poster per class.  Instead of an ink pad, we used a tray of water color paints (because it’s what we had access to from our art teacher).  I put a couple drops of water on each color and placed the tray in the lid from a cardboard box (from printer paper) so that any drips would be caught in there.

Clearly the box was a good idea.  Not all of that mess is from this project, but that clump in the middle is!

We had students use the photo magnets below to make a choice of what color they’d like to print.  Depending on the student, we gave them a field of between 2-6.  These can be placed on a magnetic whiteboard or on the table, making them easily accessible for a variety of students.  They came from the dollar store, so they’re a cheap, low tech way to make choice-making accessible to a variety of students!

We gave them each 3 chances to do prints.  We used directions like “put finger in (color)”, “put finger on paper”, and some students were even asked to put their finger next to/under/between/above etc. certain colors.  It made for a great following directions activity.  Here is our finished product!

These look SO cute hanging in the halls!  My co-SLP and I also did this activity with our preschoolers.  Their directions were a little more complex and we had them verbalize in phrases/sentences what they were going to do next.  Because they can get antsy, we gave them each a coloring page to do when it was not their turn.  Here’s the one we used.  The site has a bunch of great coloring pages, that could also be used as templates for something.  Here are all of their Christmas options!

The kids really liked this activity and they came out so cute!  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, everyone!  How many more days til Winter Break?!

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My Therapy Room

Despite my best efforts to stall it, summer is ending.

When I walked into my room last Thursday, this is what I found:

Everything was pushed toward the center, so I had some furniture rearranging to do.  Once I got everything where it needed to be I found the custodian and asked if he had any tall bookshelves I could have.  He said, “Only that metal one.  It’s old and a mess!”  No problem!  I have plenty of plastic “fabric” to cover it!  He hauled it upstairs for me and I got to work!
 
Here are some before pictures.  What was the obsession with this hideous “mauve” color that every filing cabinet and shelf in my school is?!  YUCK!
It was filthy!

Tons of old masking tape on the top of it.



The theme of my room is definitely “Pirates” but the secondary theme is “black and white patterns” with hot pink accents. So, if I can’t work pirates into the decorating, it’s a black and white pattern!

A couple years ago, I found huge packages of plastic fabric at Wal-Mart.  It was in the fabric section; it’s actually “Con-Tact” brand.  Although, it’s not shelf liner.  It was a HUGE piece of continuous fabric – if I had to guess, I’d say it was about 10’x10′.  It was folded in a small square and wrapped in clear plastic. The picture on the back of the package showed it could be used as a cover for a BBQ grill. (Err, huh?  Who covers their grill in this gorgeous stuff?!)  I bought two packs of them – one black and white damask print and one black and white polka dots.  (**I tried to find the product online but couldn’t.  Sorry!) 

I started by measuring the piece for the top.  I used a spray adhesive to get it to stick on.  I used the end of a binder to smooth everything out.

To do the side, gravity was sort of working against me.  So, I starting by taping the piece I had cut at the top.  Then I sprayed the adhesive on a small area and smoothed it out.

 
I just kept spraying small areas as I went down.
 


When I was done with the fabric, I added ribbon to the outside edge of the inside shelves.  I used hot glue to put that on.

I also have a huge filing cabinet behind me when I’m at my desk. I also covered it with the Con-Tact paper and some ribbon. Here’s it is!

 

Here are all the “go-together” cutouts I got last year and over the summer! I got them all laminated and then had some students who were visiting help me cut the out.  I can’t wait to use them!

I’m lucky enough to have a SMART Board.  Last year I used a flimsy plastic table cloth on the board around it.  I didn’t love how it looked, because I had to piece it together so it looked very “band-aid”.  this year I used a full piece of the Con-Tact paper I had – this time polka-dot!  Then, I used black and white polka dot border around it.  Much better!  I wish I had a before picture to show you.  It’s a huge improvement!

 
I had seen on Pinterest that a classroom teacher made buttons for her students to wear when they got 100 on a test.  They got to wear them all day and as they passed other teachers in the hallway, they were congratulated on their accomplishment.  I think this is the cutest idea so I adapted it for Speech!  I bought these buttons at Michael’s.  I think they were like $2.

Then, I printed the words “I got 100% in Speech today” & “Ask me how I did in Speech today” on bright, fun backgrounds.  Six of each saying because there were 12 buttons in the package.  They are polka dot and diagonal stripes: yellow, orange, purple, green, blue, and pink.

I cut them out with my new circle cutter! (I bought this one and LOVE it!You can choose whatever size you want.)  The buttons required a 2.25″ circle, so that’s what these are.  If you’d like to print them for yourself, here they are!

I’ve decided to use some of my empty wall space to make a Word Wall.  Again – it’s black, white, and hot pink.  Here’s the stuff all cut out:

 
 
 
Grab a copy for yourself here.  It’s an editable ppt file so you can change it how you want!  I haven’t put it on my wall yet, because I’m waiting for my banner to arrive (under which I’ll hang my students’ accuracy charts).

Over the summer, I found two great posters at the Dollar Tree: synonyms and antonyms.  I hung them on the chalk board which is behind me as I’m sitting at the table doing therapy.  On the chalk board is also: a poster I made with a treasure map, my behavior clip chart, some describing and pronoun anchor charts, my rating scale for /r/ students (on a scale of 1-5), and a funny /r/ poster I made using various things I found online.  Here’s how I set it up!

There was some space above my SMART Board so I wanted to add something.  I chose to make a banner illustrating the steps of articulation therapy.  It has a treasure map, “X marks the spot” theme.  Get the elements of it here to make your own!

 Some close-ups:

 

We are only allowed to cover our door with a certain amount (small amount!) or paper due to fire codes.  I saw this idea from “The Buckeye Speech Path” and decided to make my own version.

You can grab the letters for yourself in this download!  The bottom part of the poster with the SLPs’ names on it says, “Arrrrgh happy to have you on board.”

Here is a bulletin board of some personal pictures.  I found some cute pirate fabric, that also happened to be pink and black, at Wal-Mart.  I used that as the background on a cork board that I had and used pink & black argyle duct tape as the border.  Above it, I printed out my chalkboard style poster with a quote from Oscar Wilde that I really like.  I put my polka dot border around it and it’s done!  You can grab that poster here!

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed looking at my therapy room!  Please share any pictures of how you use any of the freebies in this post.  You can use the hashtag #SLPirates on instagram, too!  Or tag me; my Instagram used name is @speechlanguagepirates

The wonder of the Dollar Store

Aside from Target, the dollar store is probably my favorite place to shop.  Granted, Target also has a “Dollar Spot” – I sense a theme developing.

My mom found me these at (I believe) a Dollar Tree in New York.  Today I graduated a student and couldn’t wait to deliver this certificate!  How cute is it?!  And there are a BUNCH in the pack!

Stop what you’re doing now and head to your nearest Dollar Tree, because even if your room isn’t pirate themed, these would be perfect when an /r/ kid is dismissed!

I also found these gems at the Target Dollar Spot.  They’re actually coasters!  Although, they were more than $1; they were $3.  I only bought 2 sets, but each comes with 2 halves of the bun, a hamburger patty, lettuce, tomato, and cheese.  If they had been $1, I would have bought all they had!  I haven’t done anything in particular with them yet, but I think it would be fun to make a reinforcing game out of collecting all the necessary pieces to make a cheeseburger (a la Pretty Pretty Princess, circa 1993.  Who’s with me?).  There’s also the obvious sequencing aspect of the coasters.

What would you use these for???  I’d love to hear your ideas!  Please comment below.  If I like your idea and end up using it, you will get to choose any product from my TpT store!

 
A colleague of mine found these frames at the dollar store.  They are magnetic.  In them, she puts symbols or small manipulatives (i.e. coins) so they can be used for cummunication and participation with her intellectually disabled students, who might bend/tear cards or are unable to grasp something as small as a coin.  How great are they?!

 

I got these at the dollar store just the other day.  They are coordinating sets.  I plan to use them for activities that involve matching (synonyms, irregular past vs. present verbs, go-togethers, etc.)  I laminated them and will put Velcro on them.  That way, I can switch out the targets easily!  I will also use a dry erase marker to write the targets of the students who can read.  Aren’t they adorable?!  I got one of each design they had!

 What have you found at the dollar store?!

~Denise